Chapter 18: Case Closed

Pepper’s Pub, Britechester

Akira drew his coat tighter. The weather was turning, and unlike Caleb, the fae could feel it. “Now, do you agree with me?”

“It makes sense.” Caleb hated that Oberon’s song was so catchy. And helpful. “As a mooncaster, Johnny would have had the magical means to immobilize the wolves and the scent to mark him as a friend so they wouldn’t notice his approach. Now we just need proof.” 

“You said so yourself; a witch needs supplies. I’m sure we start knocking on doors; some shop will have seen him.”

Caleb mumbled what he hoped was a placating response.

Akira laughed and smacked his arm, “Why do you look like that?”

“Like what?” It was insane that Akira was acting like he couldn’t hear the lively conversation between Oberon and the sim in the pink dress. “I’m fine. I—”

“—But I am available,” Oberon purred, “My ex-wife was a ruthless, soul-sucking bitch who had me tied up in knots. Sometimes literally. You’re the only one who can undo them. I’ve even written a song about it. Lyrics and composition by me, of course.”

Caleb’s next moves were automatic. He let his dark form wash over him and then glided into the brain of the sim, flicking through her synapses until he found the ones firing messages off to her muscles. He found little resistance.

Leave.”

The former King of the Fae turned, face bright with fury. The mask he was wearing earlier—that of a lonely outcast—gone. He swung his mandolin over his head, infusing it with a crackle of magic.

Caleb dodged and using his vampiric speed, hopped onto Oberon’s back, where he proceeded to tear into the fae’s throat. Oberon tried to counter, but his mandolin lay helplessly out of reach.

A part of Caleb knew he should let go, but another part of him—a larger part—relished the feel of Oberon’s flesh between his teeth.

“You think she’s a bitch?”

Oberon screamed as Caleb pinned him down. “I didn’t! I never said that!”

“Liar!” Caleb stretched his jaw. This time, he’d cut through the bone with his teeth.

“Caleb!” Akira’s voice was distant, “Bro, do you maybe want to not do this in the middle of a college campus?”

Caleb couldn’t think of anything else he’d rather do. Gripping Oberon by the neck, he hoisted him in the air, smiling as the former king struggled to breathe. “I think you want to apologize,” he sneered.

When Oberon hesitated, Caleb slammed him back down on the ground. “Do you need me to remind you how to form the words?”

“I…didn’t…mean it,” Oberon rasped.

With a desperate cry, the fae fell to the ground. It would be days before he could walk again—weeks before he was even close to being healed. Ancient Oberon may be, but he was not a vampire. 

“Are you happy now?” Akira hissed, “I’m gonna have to carry his sorry ass back home and pay a witch double for healing potions. What are you even thinking?”

Caleb had no idea. He couldn’t stop enjoying the slick feel of Oberon’s plasma sliding down his chin. “I hate him,” he spat and turned to leave.

“Uh yeah,” Akira called after him, “I think we can both agree that is a fucking understatement. Where are you going?”

Britechester University, Lilith’s House

LILITH

Lilith nearly shouted at the sight of her brother appearing in her living room. 

“Does no one in this occult-forsaken family respect boundaries?” She frowned, noticing that he was covered in plasma. “What happened?” 

The plasma was fresh and smelled deliciously magical. Also slightly spicey. Or was the spiciness something else? Why was she craving it? 

“I’m becoming our parents,” Caleb curled his fingers and pressed them against his forehead like she’d seen their father do a million times.

Her brother’s worst fear was that he might somehow be related to all of them by more than circumstance. Usually, Lilith would delight in pointing out the flaws in this mode of thought, but she was enjoying having her brother around. He claimed he stopped by for work, but more often than not it was just to hang out. And he wasn’t always alone.  

“I’ll repeat myself. What the hell happened to you?”

“Oberon. And mostly, I happened to him,” Caleb sighed. “I didn’t kill him, but I came very close. Akira’s going to be—”

Pissed.”

Lilith whirled around to find the fae standing behind her. How the fuck did he keep getting the jump on her? “You also don’t respect boundaries, and you’re not even in this family!”

Akira ignored her, focusing on Caleb. “Are you out of your fucking mind? That sim—who was going to turn Oberon down, by the way, because they always do—was traumatized. I mean, what is it? You think I don’t have enough shit to do? I gotta handle work and making sure my idiot former brother-in-law doesn’t die?”

“Better you than Titania,” Caleb scoffed, “She shouldn’t have to deal with him. Maybe if you acted like her brother for once in your life, the former King of the Fae wouldn’t be a problem.”

Akira lunged and Lilith had to admit she was impressed by his speed. “Titania is godsdamned queen. She was disintegrating motherfuckers before you were born. She didn’t ask you to get in the middle of her divorce, and if I remember correctly, neither did I!”

“She didn’t have to ask!” her brother growled. 

“Yeah, well, I would take that as a sign!” 

“You certainly don’t!” Caleb retorted as the fae shoved him again. “You constantly do things she didn’t ask for.”

Akira pointed, “Because I’m her brother!”

“Well, I’m her friend…friend’s…brother’s friend!” Caleb gestured wildly, stumbling over his words. 

It was embarrassing enough that Lilith took pity on him. “Enough! I do not need two juvenile idiots measuring their cocks in my living room. Caleb,” —she pointed at her brother— “Go to the bathroom and clean yourself up. Akira,” —she narrowed her eyes at the fae— “You’ve made your point, now get out.”

Akira stood there, jaw clenched, as Caleb stomped past him. In all the years she’d known the fae, Lilith never saw him lose his cool. His brooding lasted only an instant before his posture became casual again, even playful. “You really gonna kick me out before I give you your housewarming gift?”

Lilith remembered what it felt like to have her cheeks heat. “I-I don’t need a gift. I was going to move but circumstances changed.”

That didn’t explain why she hadn’t unpacked her boxes and Akira knew. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a small bundle of thyme. “Feel free to specify which windows or doors I should use in the future.”

Lilith took it. Thyme wasn’t magical, per se, but the Fae had a long tradition of using it to mark entrances and exits. Like vampires, who could move in and out of spaces unrestricted, they needed some external way to tell each other where they were welcome. Not bothering to hide her smile, she placed a few sprigs on the sill of the window with a cascade of thorny rosebushes under it.

“It’s an excellent gift,” she gestured at the window, “Goodnight.” 

“Fuckin vampires,” Akira’s expression was amused even as he shook his head. “Always trying to make somebody bleed. Make sure you knock some sense into your brother. He is always a lot but this is over the top.”

With a mocking salute, he slid through the window and dropped out of sight. There was a crashing sound and a mumbled series of curses accompanied by that sweet, sharp smell of plasma. Lilith leaned out the window, cackling as he brushed himself off. 

“You could just glamour all that away, you know. No one would be wiser.”

“Nah,” he slid his hands behind his head giving that appearance of being unbothered that Lilith now found herself inexplicably drawn to. “That ain’t my style. I like my scars. Reminds me of the places it’s dangerous to go.”

Ha! She rested her chin in her hand, cocking an eyebrow. “Speaking of danger…”

“What? You got more rose bushes I have to climb through as penance?”

“No,” she laughed, “Nothing like that. But know this, fairy. The next time you shove my brother, I will wrap my hand around your still-beating heart and squeeze until the light leaves your eyes.”

Akira tilted his head, a smile playing at the corner of his mouth. “Noted.”

She watched him gracefully jump over her fence, avoiding the rest of the vegetation without effort, making it clear he fell into those rose bushes by choice. Lilith let herself watch him for only a moment before turning her attention back inside.

It was time to knock some sense into her brother.

Eventually, Caleb decided he was ready to talk, and she made them both hot toddies.

“You didn’t need to set fire to my boots,” he pouted, “I’d already agreed to talk.”

“I did, because you’re being stupid. Despite your claim that you’re nothing like our parents, here you are, exhibiting the least amount of chill when it comes to someone you’re crushing on.”

“Wrong,” Caleb shook his head, “I’m not crushing on Titania. I’m already involved with someone else. The whole Oberon thing was just…” he trailed off, gazing down at his drink. “Maybe I am stupid.”

“Finally,” Lilith scoffed, “Some progress.”

    1 comment
  • Snow ~
    December 11, 2022

    I do love how you’ve blended the game’s mooncaster lore in so well hhhhh…I also love Caleb’s almost teenage looking sulk pose on the sofa XD And Operation Eternal Flame. I love how well the ‘official’ lore is going to blend in with yours hhhhnnnngggg. That is so fae, just staying out of it and seeing who wins if anyone : P I shouldn’t have laughed when Oberon said he was lonely, but I just… ‘Please, no-one wants to talk about my kinks anymore! Not since the MOON left me! FUCK YOU MOON! *middle finger to the night sky*’ That lute pose, is that one based on El Dorado by any chance? XD AH we get a cool video whilst Caleb is forced to sit through lutesong XD

    I love the personification of the moon so much oh my goshhhh < 3 I love this backstory and also I love seeing the Old Gods again! AND MORGYN IN GOTHIC ENBY BATTLE MODE I AM IN LOVE!!! Vitriol Trilogy Morgyn would be so jealous of this Morgyn, this is the Untamed Dragon vibe Vitriol!Morgyn could only dream of. I love this video so much and I love that that's how they were reborn as werewolves.

    Caleb's dark form spooked me, I didn't expect it at all (IDK if we've seen it before) but I love it. His 'stay calm' shell is slowly breaking off and I'm all for it. Go feral son! Go feral indeed! I wonder what fae blood tastes like? Honey? Candyfloss? : D The first shot of Caleb, and the second one of him looking down on Oberon the close up are both SO FUCKING COOL OH MY GOSH. I love seeing Caleb revel in his dark form so much. There really is nothing better than just going 'fuck it' and going feral I bet. 'I do not need two juvenile idiots measuring their cocks in my living room' I laughed so much at this because I thought the same thing XD

    i also love the shot of Lilith leaning on the windowsill threatening Akira. I'm laughing at Akira telling Caleb to hold back earlier and ready to run his sword through Darrel at the shop. Also laughed at Akira telling him he missed his head when cutting off stupid parts. XD The fake tooth switcharound was interesting, esp considering I spent ages wondering what kind of value the teeth had only to find they weren't real anyway.

    I love that raising chickens was Titania's breakup hobby. Nooo these are my emotional support chickens! Also I want to go to the Fae world. I don't even care if they make me dance until my legs snap. < 3 I already love Titania, 'fuck around find out' plus 'smoochable' vibe. The machinima was interesting, will be fun to see what terrible influences Caleb and Titania are on each other!

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